In this product guide:
- 1. Factors to consider
- 2. Cushioned trainer with a medial post: Asics Kayano 29
- 3. Daily trainer with a medial post: Asics GT-2000 11
- 4. Daily trainer with a medial post: New Balance 860V13
- 5. Long-distance trainer with medial support: Saucony Tempus
- 6. Supportive distance trainer: Hoka Arahi 6
- 7. Cushioned trainer with a medial post: New Balance Vongo V5
- 8. Max stability trainer: Saucony Omni 21
- 9. Affordable trainer with a medial post: Asics GT-1000 12
Let us guess. You’re here because you probably had a ‘gait analysis’ done at a shoe store and were advised to wear running shoes that ‘correct’ your pronation.
Or you read something about overpronation on the internet, so you landed on this page to do further research before finally deciding which shoe to buy.
But let’s make it clear upfront – the so-called stability running shoes will not ‘cure’ or even correct your overpronation. Everyone pronates; this inward-rolling movement is a naturally occurring component of the gait cycle. The only difference is that a certain population of runners roll in a lot more than others.
To counter the exaggerated movement, the ‘medial post’ was invented a few decades ago. This is a firmer wedge of foam on the inner midsole. The underlying theory was that the harder inner midsole prevents the foot from rolling excessively inwards.
It sounded great on paper and made sense in the 70s and 80s. Back then, running shoes had blown EVA foam midsoles that compacted quickly and lost their structure within a few months. We discussed this topic in detail in one of our 2015 shoe reviews.
In short, modern-day stability running shoes with a medial post are redundant. Perhaps vintage stability shoes were partially effective, but then those were ugly-looking beasts with oversized medial posts. Now that’s a medial post.
Midsole foams have come of age, so even neutral shoes are supportive enough. To nobody’s surprise, recent traditional stability shoe updates have evolved into supportive neutrals. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is a good example. Even the Nike Structure has ditched its medial post and adopted a ‘supportive neutral’ midsole instead.
So if traditional overpronation-control shoes are a relic of the past, then why does this buyer’s guide exist?
There are two reasons. The first is to tell you that you do not need an expensive ‘pronation control’ running shoe.
The other reason is that a lot of runners want the feeling of a firmer medial wedge, the same way some individuals prefer insoles with a sense of under-arch support.
Like any other running shoe, wearing a medially posted model is a personal choice. To that end, we’ve put together a list of traditional stability shoes with a firmer midsole wedge.
Unlike our other stability shoe guide which also included non-posted support shoes and stable neutrals, this article only focuses on models with a firmer wedge or visible stability frame.
So if you don’t see shoes like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 or Nike Structure 24, you know why. adidas and Mizuno do not sell shoes with a medial post, so they’re left out too. The Saucony Guide ISO 2 was on this guide a couple of years ago, but the new Guide 15 is not.
One good thing about most shoes on this guide is that their wedges aren’t intrusive. So even runners who otherwise run in ‘neutral’ shoes can buy them without concern.
1) Cushioned trainer with a medial post: Asics Gel-Kayano 29
Even with the redesigned upper and sole, the Kayano 29 feels familiar.
A firmer medial wedge is blended into the inner midsole, and a visible Gel pad is where it’s always been – under the heel. It’s just smaller this time, that’s all.
However, with the radically redesigned Kayano 30 now released, it’s a matter of time before the Kayano 29 disappears from the shelves. So stock up if you can – this is probably one of the last remaining ‘traditional’ stability shoes with a medial post.
On top, an engineered mesh upper delivers a plush fit and feel. This is Asics’s premier stability shoe, so a molded clip wraps around the heel for support.
The area where the plastic shank once existed is now filled with outsole rubber, thus increasing the contact surface area.
This year’s Kayano is softer under the forefoot than the Kayano 28. Most of Asics’s current generation models are turning softer, and the Kayano heads in the same direction.
The Flytefoam Blast Plus foam has a lower density, and the soft Ortholite insole and lasting also contribute to the ride comfort.
Forefoot strikers will find the ride a little more forgiving than before. The better balance of softness between the front and rear makes the ride more connected.
To sum up, the Kayano 29 remains a reliable stability trainer for everyday runs and long-distance workouts alike. To know more, our ultra-detailed review should help.
2) Daily trainer with a medial post: Asics GT-2000 11
The Asics GT-2000 is often thought of as the ‘Lite’ version of the more expensive Kayano.
When compared to the Kayano 29, the GT-2000 11 is an ounce lighter, has a 2 mm lower offset, and is $30 less expensive. For 2023, the GT-2000 11 gets minor updates, but the overall ride and fit quality is very similar to the GT-2000 10.
In short, the GT-2000 11 is a stability shoe that feels lighter and is more versatile than the pricier Kayano. The lower weight also makes the shoe feel faster, and yet the cushioning is comfortable enough for runs of varying mileage.
Unlike the Kayano, the upper keeps the trims and frills to a minimum. The engineered mesh shell fits comfortably and true to size, whereas the high-density printing details on the midfoot and heel add structural support and aesthetic appeal.
Technically speaking, the GT-2K has a firmer section of foam on the inner midsole, so it has a medial post.
However, Asics doesn’t mention ‘Duomax’ on the V10 – aka the medial post. Instead, Asics calls the new design ‘Litestruss’. Also noteworthy is the retirement of the midfoot shank (Trusstic) – a feature that existed on models as recently as the GT-2000 9.
These updates make the GT-2000 11 a ‘Lite’ version of the Kayano 29. In other words, the gait correction aspect of the ride is dialed down by a few notches.
3) Daily trainer with a medial post: New Balance Fresh Foam 860V13
New Balance hasn’t given up on medial posts – not just yet. The 860v13 gives the Vongo V5 company with its medially-posted midsole. Sure, the firmer foam wedge is nowhere as large as it used to be, but it’s there nonetheless.
The good thing is that while the inner midsole is more supportive than the outer side, there’s no cushioning bias. In other words, the 860V13 is equally supportive on both sides.
The 860V13 has a new feature that the 860V12 did not have. The midsole has raised sidewalls that hug the foot on either side. If that sounds familiar, Brooks uses a similar design named ‘Guiderails’.
Like the 880V12, the 860 doesn’t have an overly soft ride. The Fresh Foam midsole is tinged with firmness for better stability.
The soft and true-to-size upper is available in three optional widths.
4) Long-distance trainer with medial support: Saucony Tempus
The Saucony Tempus may not have a medial post, but it has the next best thing – an EVA frame that adds a higher level of medial (inner) support.
In our opinion, the frame does a far better job at providing medial support than Guiderails (Brooks) or traditional foam wedges. The Tempus also achieves this without making one side of the midsole firmer than the other.
The Saucony behaves like a neutral trainer, but with the added benefit of under-arch support. The EVA frame isn’t the only trick up the Tempus’s sleeve.
The main midsole is made of Pwrrun PB – the same bouncy foam that makes the Endorphin Speed and Pro so comfortable and engaging. Our comprehensive review dives deep into this unique stability trainer.
This unique blend of support and ride comfort makes the Tempus suitable for most use cases and foot-strike orientations. There’s ample cushioning for longer distances, whereas the responsive PEBA midsole increases the versatility.
The lightweight upper is excellent too. It’s ultra-breathable, secure, and comfortable on the inside.
Also see: The Hoka Mach X – a brand-new running shoe that’s based on a similar form factor.
5) Supportive distance trainer: Hoka Arahi 6
The Hoka Arahi 6 doesn’t have a medial post, but has a firmer EVA frame that provides a higher level of support on the inner midsole.
The firmer EVA frame wraps around the rear midsole and extends to the inner forefoot. This design is similar to the Skechers GoRun Forza from a few years ago. It worked back then, and it works just as well today.
This unique design prevents the midsole from collapsing during high angles of pronation.
The softer foam core makes the Arahi 6 a comfortable shoe for everyday runs as well as half-marathon distances. The supportive outsole has a wide footprint with strategically-placed rubber lugs, and that’s good for traction and the transitions quality.
The upper is true to size, but fits narrow in true Hoka fashion. Other than those quirks, the Arahi’s interiors are smooth and plush in just the right places.
6) Cushioned trainer with a medial post: New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V5
Till recently, the New Balance Vongo was a different kind of stability running shoe – the kind without a medial post.
However, the Fresh Foam Vongo V5 arrives with a visible wedge on the inner midsole. We have no idea why New Balance decided that the Vongo needed to change.
Perhaps the Vongo V5 is supposed to be the replacement for the now-discontinued 1260? If so, that would make a lot of sense. The 860V13 (see next) is New Balance’s go-to stability trainer but with a firm ride, so now the Vongo can be its more cushioned version.
Since there are very few running shoes with a medial post, the Vongo V5 now targets runners who seek a cushioned running shoe with a conventionally designed medial post.
The thick Fresh Foam midsole is softer than the 860, thus making the Vongo suitable for longer runs. The upper borrows its soft and accommodating fit from the stellar 1080, and that complements the comfortable midsole.
7) Max stability trainer: Saucony Omni 21
Of all the shoes on this guide, the Omni 21 happens to be the most traditional motion-control shoe.
While the upper and midsole design is visually aligned with the rest of the Saucony catalog, it has none of the new-age foams like Pwrrun+ (e-TPU) or Pwrrun PB (PEBA). Like the Ride 15 and Guide 15, the Omni uses a standard EVA foam midsole.
The Omni 21 harkens back to the 90s. The sizeable medial post is noticeable, and that’s something that can be felt under the foot as well.
The Pwrrun midsole is made of an EVA-blended foam, so its firm ride reminds us of the older Saucony designs. While it is very stable, the Omni 21 has a motion control undertone due to the dual-density setup.
The Omni 21 uses the same midsole as the Omni 20, so both shoes are practically the same.
There’s nothing special happening on the upper either; just some good old-fashioned engineered mesh cobbled together with welded overlays and padded lining. This ‘safe’ approach ensures a predictably comfortable and secure fit.
If the idea of a running shoe with a medial post sounds appealing, then we’re happy to report that the Omni 21 gets the old-fashioned stability running shoe formula right.
8) Affordable trainer with medial post: Asics GT-1000 12
The GT-1000 12 has a mild motion-control character. There is a firmer medial post, but it’s tiny and does not affect the overall ride dynamics.
Like the GT-2000, Asics no longer mentions ‘Duomax’ (its term for a medial post) in the GT-1000 12’s product literature. However, there is a firmer section of foam on the inner midsole.
There is a slight cushioning bias that favors the outer midsole, but that’s precisely why this model features on this guide. The midsole geometry gets you a firmer inner midsole and softer outer sidewall. That happens because the outer side has a visible – and softer – Gel window.
If you’re unfamiliar with Asics’s stability shoe lineup, know that the GT-1000 is part of the unofficial Kayano/GT-2000/GT-1000 group. The Kayano 29 (now 30) is the premium stability trainer (and the most expensive), followed by the GT-2000 11 and lastly the 1000.
There is almost no difference between the Asics GT-1000 11 and GT-1000 12 as both models are based on the same midsole.
Interestingly, the GT-1000 12’s upper has marginally more in the front because of the redesigned heel collar. The heel padding isn’t aggressive as the GT-1000 11, so it allows the foot to sit a few millimeters away from the front.